María José Rojas believes Friday’s Round 10 match against Newcastle Jets Women is a must win game to maintain Adelaide United Women’s finals aspirations.
The Reds suffered a 2-1 loss to ladder leader Sydney FC Women last weekend and need to bounce back with a victory against the seventh placed Jets.
Rojas reflected on the game against Sydney and felt they should have taken something from the game after an improved second-half.
“I thought it was a winnable game even though we played against the stronger team,” she said.
“But for us it was also a strange game because of the conditions, the synthetic (pitch).
“We couldn’t find our comfort play, so we couldn’t connect the midfield with the forwards but the second-half was a little bit better.”
Adelaide currently remains equal third on 13 points, level with Melbourne Victory Women and two points clear of fifth-ranked Canberra United Women.
However, Adrian Stenta’s side has played an extra match over both teams who face off on Sunday, hence the significance of collecting three points.
A loss would have huge permutations on the Reds’ top-four status, particularly with tough games coming up against Sydney FC and the undefeated Brisbane Roar.
“For us every single game is winnable,” said a determined Rojas.
“We step onto the pitch thinking we want to win, we want to go to finals.
“Every game is different, no matter where they’re on the ladder – if they’re the last (position) or they’re the top one.
“We must capitalise on the game in all areas and I believe in all my teammates.
“Our biggest goal is to reach the finals and I think if we all come together and we play to our abilities and challenge for the top spot it will happen.”
On the contest itself, the Chilean forward expected a tough encounter against a Jets side looking to snap a three-game losing streak.
“I think it will be a hard game,” she said.
“We haven’t had an easy game no matter who we’re playing against.
“Every game is different. Every single game has been difficult because teams don’t want to lose.
“… They will make it harder for us as well. We just have to be prepared and do our best, and I think if we stick to our style and stick to our game we’ll win.”
While the 33-year-old has scored just the solitary goal so far this campaign, Rojas’ all-round impact has been excellent.
Her dribbling prowess and hold-up play has helped release pressure off the defence and her movement on and off the ball has created chances for her teammates.
Rojas was confident once she gets that next goal the floodgates will open, though stressed winning is the most important thing.
“What I’m enjoying about this team is to be able to use my skills like dribbling and tricks and to be able to impact my team,” she said.
“I think by creating attacking opportunities and movement off the ball through the midfield and entertain our fans.
“In saying that lately I’ve been a little bit unlucky (in front of goal). I need the luck part that I had when I started the season – I scored a goal against Canberra – I know I can do it so I’m ready.
“I want that to happen and I will make it happen.
“But for me what’s more important is to win and to get the three points.”
Game date: Friday, 26 February vs Newcastle Jets Women
Westfield W-League 2020/21 – Round 10
Kick-off 5.35pm ACDT
Venue: No.2 Sportsground
Stream: Kayo Sports, MyFootball Live App